Norcold 1200 series 4 doors refrigerators have become one of our largest selling products, both in our cooling unit and reconditioned refrigerator lines. Because of this, I have decided to dedicate a complete page on our website to these refrigerators.
Norcold 1200 Series RV Refrigerators
Norcold's 1200 and 1210 series rv refrigerators are the biggest refrigerator available to the rv industry (at least for now). They are also one of the most computerized and, in our experience, can be the most problematic.
First, you need to know that the electronics package on these refrigerators records every single problem that the refrigerator experiences. In the event that you experience a cooling unit failure, replacing the cooling unit with either a new or aftermarket unit does not always take care of the problem....you have to read and clear out the fault codes that led up to the failure or the computer will read them again and your refrigerator will not work. Some technicians think that all you have to do is a hard reset of the board...this is not true and will not always clear the codes. You have to go into the refrigerator's self diagnostic program to clear them, and you have to know the proper sequence in order to access this program. We offer this service free of charge over the telephone with every unit we ship.
Also, the heating elements on these refrigerators are extremely susceptible to failure when the cooling goes bad. Cooling unit failure on these refrigerators is most often caused by a stress fracture in the boiler assembly. When this occurs, the liquid ammonia leaks out onto the element while it is red hot. This causes the ceramic inside the element to crack and swell, rendering it useless. A quick ohms test will confirm if the elements are bad. There are 2 elements (225 watts @ 120vac each), and they should read 64 ohms each at ambient temperature. Anything outside this reading, and the elements are bad and must be replaced in order for the new unit to operate. If your old elements will not fit inside the sleeves on the new cooling unit, then they are bad and must be replaced.
Next, it is very important to completeley and properly seal the cooling unit if you are installing a repalcement unit. Due in part to the size of the refrigerator iteself, these units are particularly susceptible to leaks and air infilatration around the insulation pack. These units use 2 electric heating elements, and operate at extremely high temperatures. As these units are installed in very tight spaces, and due to the principle that hot air rises, the hot air will seep into the refrigerator compartment through the seams around the cooling unit foam pack if these seams have not been sealed properly. You think that the replacement cooling unit is bad, when in fact the installation is the culprit. On our 1200 and 1210 series cooling units, we send a roll of putty tape to seal the fins, hvacr aluminum foil tape to seal the seams, and 2 tubes of thermal mastic to seal the evaporator to the box.
Following along with installation problems, we need to address the boiler assembly insulation pack. Factory insulation on 1200 and 1210 series refrigerators is a one time use product.....meaning that it cannot be reused when you change your cooling unit. We have seen numerous installations where the installer tried to reuse the factory insulation, only to have it fail. Without a proper insulation pack, the unit will not get hot enough to cool. When this happens, the unit will run continuously and this can lead to cooling unit failure as the unit does not cycle. We ship a round insulation pack and new fiberglass insulation with our 1200 series cooling units.
If you are experiencing problems with your 1200 or 1210 series Norcold refrigerator, we will be happy to help you. Simply call us at 1-501-977-0833 for technical and diagnostic assistance.